Resolution! 7 Feb, 2012 – A year ago today

It’s time for another trip down memory lane!

This Resolution! Review outing was one I’d been anticipating.  I met Graham Watts on Twitter (yes that little blue bird does wonders) before having the pleasure of shaking his hand at Resolution!’s opening night. Of the 6 professional critics, I’d come across his work the most and I was looking forward to being published alongside him.

I’ll never forget being two of the first people to enter the theatre. And of course in true The Place style, picking our seats. If you remember my seat of choice (from this previous post), yep that’s where we sat, despite Graham’s suggestions of the front row/right down the middle.

Comfortably settled, pens and notebooks in hand, he said to me “You’re meant to be a critic.” (Note: this was only based on my choice of an aisle seat, and not anything I’d written. Well I took it anyway.)

This was my contribution to G&G at Resolution! 7 February, 2012:

penny & jules dance company, Greyscale

TYDC, Breaking Point

James Loffler, LFO

Two upturned palms are often a symbol of exasperation, and this features prominently in penny & jules dance company’s Greyscale. Choreographers and performers Lisa ‘penny’ Gillam and Kate ‘jules’ Szkolar are committed in their portrayal of a deeply found exasperation with life that is devoid of meaning and joy –  life without colour. They look heavenward, seemingly seeking divine intervention, and curl up tightly, closing themselves off from the world. Both dancers are on different paths to the same destination, yet when they turn to each other for support in their increasing frustration, they find temporal comfort in each other’s embrace. However this is to no avail, as they eventually surrender in resignation to their grave decision.

In more ways than one, Tomos Young’s choreography reaches Breaking Point, and surpasses it. An extreme test of physical and mental stamina, Young has five female dancers on stage for most of the piece, performing countless repetitions of highly physical sequences. As a result, the work begins to feel overlong as it comes undone amidst valiant gasps of breath and weakening bodies in surrender to the sheer exhaustion. The glitchy 80’s style soundtrack does not serve to drive the dancers, not even if it has the most motivational aerobics’ instructor doing a voice-over.

From afar, the dancers in James Loffler’s LFO may look like a bunch of teenagers bopping to music playing on their iPods. Look closer and discover that these extremely athletic dancers are pulsing and jerking with remarkable precision, allowing the cacophony of sounds on Loffler’s soundtrack to inform their internal rhythm, while retaining their individual identities. They vibrate as though they are the air particles through which a sound wave passes. Loffler effectively depicts various situations from the aural perspective, visually reproducing the tension and inflection of the voices at play.

Published on Resolution! Review alongside Graham Watts (@GWDanceWriter).

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